The USS Randolph (CV-15) was commissioned on 9 October 1944, and subsequently deployed to the Pacific theater. She was the second of an improved Essex class often called the Ticonderoga class. She featured and extended hull with extra 40 mm mounts. The flight deck was cut back to give the guns a clear field of fire. The Randolph was very active in the Pacific. Its planes contributed to the fighting on Iwo Jima, as well as making raids on targets such as Okinawa and Tokyo. USS Randolph was capable of 33 knots and required a crew of 3448. In combat on 11 March 1945 the carrier was hit by a kamikaze which caused 25 deaths and damage to the flight deck, but the craft was able to continue on in combat.
The USS Randolph earned three battle stars for its World War II service.
|For years the only Essex class carriers in 1/700 were the Hasegawa kit and the Revell 1/720 kit. Both were nice 30 years ago, but fall short of today's standards. This new carrier from Dragon Models of Hong Kong, China also known as DML for Dragon Models Limited, has raised the bar for the 1/700 world. Designed using CAD (Computer Aided Design), the parts of this model could be test fitted and checked before tooling was produced. One the design was finalized the mold was cut using the latest cutting tool technology to produce some extremely fine parts for an injected mold. The end result is another state of the art carrier. Thanks to Dragon we now have a new Long Hull Essex AKA Ticonderoga Class carrier to go along with that Short Hull one previously released.|
|The hull is one piece with a separate hanger deck and lower hull.. There is some really nice porthole detail with eyebrows (rain gutters) above them and plenty of piping, vent, and other detail. The many openings to the hanger deck are all left open with separate roll up doors that can be shown open or closed.||Click
These sprues include many of the gun platforms and bridge platforms. Notice that in most cases the underside bracing is present. There are also several extra platforms that are not used on this kit. Stay tuned for details on future releases. Dragon has more in store for us in the future. Also notice the open grills in the top of the funnel cap, nice!
The sprue is exclusive to the Randolph and includes some Long hull specific platform details. Notice that on the bottom of several of them are Carley Floats.
This is the weapons spure and there are two of them in the kit. It includes the many anti-aircraft guns and various fittings used on the ship. Various radar's and other detail items are also included.
A base is included to display your ship on should you chose to build it full hull. A nameplate is also included with a peel and stick label that fits within the border.
|A photoetch fret is included that will allow you to replace some of the molded on details. The lower frame of the deck edge elevator and open radio antenna. You also get radar's and other platforms. There is also a variety of deck personnel in various poses that will lend action to your deck.|
|The decals by Cartograf include the aircraft insignia
that were used during the war and include the red outlined insignia used
briefly by some squadrons. The deck striping and lines are well done. They
are all nicely registered and much improved from the typical kit supplied
|The aircraft in this kit are simply the best available
in this scale. They are molded in clear plastic so you can mask off the
canopies and when you paint them. When the paint dries you peel off the
masking and are presented with a nice clear canopy. These aircraft also
benefit from the CAD technology
|The instructions are a 6 page booklet showing the assembly
in a step by step process that is easy to follow. Very thorough and well
illustrated. Camouflage is shown with four elevation and one plan view.
|The most obvious differences between the Long Hull and
Short Hull Essex Class carriers are shown below. Notice the difference
in the shape and length of the bow.
|This kit is extremely well designed and packed with options. The modeler has many choices when building this kit. Full hull or waterline, Open hanger doors or closed, clear deck or opaque, and many more. Dragon USA lists this kit with an MSRP of $34.95 US. More than a fair price when you consider the extras. Right now this kit gets my vote for the best 1/700 scale injection molded kit on the market today. It even improves on their previous release the Essex. Bravo Zulu Dragon.|